I base everything I do around Bloom’s Taxonomy. It’s my North Star when developing lessons. **Any high-quality lesson will climb up Bloom’s**, starting at the low-level (but still important) skills of Remember and Understand and rising up to Evaluate and Synthesize.

But the most important level of Bloom’s is Analyze!

- If you don’t hit Analyze, you’re stuck at the low-level. Students are just re-explaining things we already know. You’re going to get the same answers from every student every year.
- If you
*skip*Analyze and try to start at the higher levels, you’re likely to get*fluffy*lessons because you haven’t established a foundation. For example, here’s what can go wrong when we start with “Create”.

**Analyze is the bridge that connects low-level to high-level.** And it’s easy to hit! All we’re doing is comparing, contrasting, and categorizing. We just have to make sure that the comparing, contrasting, and categorizing is *actually Analyze!*

Here’s what I mean:

- 🚫 Place these 15 animals into the categories Fish, Birds, Reptiles, and Mammals.
- ✅ Place these 15 animals into 3-5 categories. The categories
**cannot**be Fish, Birds, Reptiles, and Mammals.

Do you see the difference? **The first example is NOT Analyze-level thinking!** It’s Remember/Understand. You can tell because every student will give you the same results – unless they make a mistake.

Analyze means that students are thinking in new ways. If you have five groups of students, **you can expect those groups to come up with five different sets of categories**. As a teacher, I’m *very* interested in what my students will come up with for Option 2. I’m bored out of my skull with the results of Option 1. “Oh yes, we all correctly put eagle into the “bird” category. Woo hoo.” 😴

Then, once students have formed their categories, **they are all set up to do some Evaluating.** We might ask which of these categories is most unusual? Most useful? Etc. Which of your friends came up with a categorization that is totally different from yours, yet you still agree with it? But that is a topic for an article about Evaluation.